Randal Grichuk

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And That Happened: Saturday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the rest of Saturday’s scores and highlights:

White Sox 13, Giants 1: The White Sox weren’t about to get shown up by the Giants two days in a row. Six home runs did the trick, from Jose Abreu‘s 372-foot blast in the first inning to Nick Delmonico‘s two-run shot in the seventh. Abreu went 4-for-5 and batted for the cycle, collecting an elusive triple in the eighth to become the sixth player in franchise history (and the first in 17 years) to replicate the feat.

Braves 6, Marlins 5: A night off did wonders for Giancarlo Stanton, who returned to the Marlins’ lineup on Saturday raring to go. He wasted no time getting on the board, hammering a 456-footer to center field in the first inning for an early lead:

The Marlins followed Stanton’s efforts with a three-run spread in the third inning, but dropped their lead in the most anticlimactic fashion: on a walk-off walk.

Yankees 3, Rangers 1: The Yankees extended their lead in the wild card race with a masterful performance from Luis Severino, who fanned 10 batters over seven innings of one-hit ball. Rangers’ right-hander Andrew Cashner was equally stingy, blanking the Yankees through the first seven innings before Chase Headley broke through with a sac fly in the eighth. Tyler Austin’s RBI single provided the go-ahead run in the ninth, and a shutdown performance from Aroldis Chapman sealed the deal.

Indians 4, Orioles 2: The Orioles may not have been able to top the Indians during their remarkable 17-win tear, but they managed to do something that no competitor had done in 16 games: They scored first. Trey Mancini‘s first-inning RBI single held up for two innings, but the Indians came storming back with a four-run spread, banking on key hits from Giovanny Urshela and Jay Bruce to regain the lead.

Athletics 11, Astros 1 (Game 1): It’s too late in the season for the A’s comeback to have any significant impact on their season, but that didn’t stop them from tanking the division-leading Astros in back-to-back double-digit performances. Daniel Gossett finally found his groove against the ‘Stros, leading the way with his first quality start of the month. His dominance was starkly contrasted by that of Houston relievers Reymin Guduan and J.D. Davis, who contributed to the A’s blowout with a cumulative four runs on six walks in the eighth inning:

Athletics 11, Astros 4 (Game 2): Things didn’t look any better for the Astros the second time around.  They kept their walk count to a minimum, with just one free pass by Michael Feliz, but the A’s opted for the long ball with blasts from Jose Altuve, Matt Olson and Chad Pinder. With the Astros’ slump and the Indians’ historic resurgence, the two are now tied for the best record in the American League, at 86-56.

Brewers 15, Cubs 2: The Brewers may have lost ace right-hander Jimmy Nelson for the season, but they didn’t look any worse for wear during Saturday’s hit parade. Chase Anderson led the way with five scoreless frames while the rest of the team tagged opposing starter Mike Montgomery for eight runs in the third. With the win, the Brewers sit just three games out of the division lead, though they’ll have to top both the Cubs and Cardinals to clinch the title.

Phillies 5, Nationals 4: There’s no doubt the Nationals will clinch the NL East title. They’re 19 games up on the second-place Marlins and could repeat as division champs as soon as Sunday, provided that they can coordinate another win with another Marlins’ loss. Doing so would make them the first repeat champions since the Phillies clinched in 2007 and 2008… and 2009, 2010 and 2011, but at least on Saturday, the Phillies weren’t quite ready to let that happen. They played spoiler to the Nationals’ efforts with a pair of home runs by Rhys Hoskins and Maikel Franco in the second inning, then returned for three insurance runs in the fourth.

Blue Jays 5, Tigers 4: The Blue Jays are still an improbable nine games out of a playoff berth, with seven teams blocking their path to a wild card spot, but on Saturday, they looked every inch the perennial contender. Kevin Pillar did it all for the club, going 4-for-4 with a leadoff RBI single and tie-breaking home run and snaring a deep fly ball to prevent the Tigers from gaining an advantage in the fifth.

Mets 6, Reds 1: The Mets will be eliminated from postseason contention in just seven games, so now’s as good a time as any to start heating up. They worked up to their fourth consecutive win on Saturday, capitalizing on five solid innings from Rafael Montero and an early lead from Kevin Plawecki to stay ahead of the Reds.

Red Sox 9, Rays 0: While the Yankees looked for an edge in the AL East race, the Red Sox extended their lead with their first shutout of September. Chris Sale improved to a 16-7 record, taking the Rays to task with six scoreless frames and fanning eight of 25 batters. At the plate, it was a group effort: Dustin Pedroia led off the first inning with a solo shot, his seventh of the year, and a smattering of base hits and productive outs took care of the rest.

Royals 5, Twins 2: With a wild card race this cutthroat, every win counts. The Royals upended the Twins to move within four wins of a postseason berth, breaking through in the eighth inning on Eric Hosmer‘s go-ahead RBI single. Mike Minor and Brandon Maurer stepped in to preserve the win for rookie Jakob Junis, whose quality start was his first since August 14.

Cardinals 4, Pirates 3: The Pirates may have put the most creative effort into their performance on Saturday, but creativity doesn’t always win games. Adam Frazier lashed an inside-the-park home run in the seventh inning and cleared the bases in just 15.7 seconds, the Pirates’ fastest home-to-home mark since 2015.

Some of the credit, however, goes to the wall in center field, which knocked Dexter Fowler out of the game and gave Frazier a head start as he charged around the basepaths. Fowler exited with a left knee contusion and the Cardinals rebounded with Matt Carpenter‘s standard-issue home run and Randal Grichuk‘s tie-breaking RBI groundout to take the lead.

Padres 8, Diamondbacks 7: Whatever slump the Dodgers and Astros have suffered from lately appears to be contagious. The Diamondbacks took their second straight loss to the Padres on Saturday, dropping their five-run lead after the Friars mounted a stunning six-run rally in the ninth. At this rate, it’s anyone’s guess how the playoffs will shake out.

Mariners 8, Angels 1: The Mariners did their part to even out the AL wild card standings, putting up their own six-run spread in the fourth inning to create some distance from the third-place Angels. Nelson Cruz saved the biggest and best blast for last, punishing an 0-2 slider from Jesse Chavez for a 398-foot home run, his 32nd of the season:

Rockies 6, Dodgers 5: The Dodgers continued their Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde routine on Saturday, skidding to their ninth straight loss — their worst since a 10-game slump in 1992 — following a breakthrough effort from Trevor Story and three scoreless innings from Colorado’s bullpen. The Rockies, meanwhile, had some fun during the nail-biter, as Story cranked out his 20th homer of the season and Charlie Blackmon collected his 88th leadoff RBI to tie Craig Biggio’s record.

And That Happened: Thursday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Yankees 6, Red Sox 2: Gary Sanchez homered and singled in a run and Greg Bird hit a three-run homer as the Yankees took the first game in a critical four-game set with the Red Sox. That backed CC Sabathia who was solid, allowing one run on four hits in six innings. He was less solid in his reaction to Eduardo Nunez, who attempted to bunt for a hit in the first inning. It’s not a dumb play given that Sabathia has a bad knee and may struggle to field his position. And, in fact, Nunez reached when Sabathia threw the ball away. Sabathia didn’t like it, though:

“Just kind of weak to me. It is what it is. It shows what they got over there,” Sabathia said. “It just gets you fired up. It makes you want to beat them. Obviously, I want to win every time I go out there, but even more so after that.”

Sabathia walked his next two batters. After getting consecutive strikeouts to escape a bases-loaded jam , he shouted in the direction of Boston’s dugout.

He said the Red Sox show him “too much respect.”

“Swing the bat,” the veteran pitcher said.

Only in baseball would such a thing be considered an issue of “respect” or “class” or whatever Sabathia is getting at here. In any other sport it’d just be assumed to be good strategy. Cornerback gimpy? Of COURSE the quarterback is gonna pick on him. Goalie have a weak glove hand? Of course the other team is gonna shoot to his glove hand side. They’re in it to win it, it’s not dirty and it’s not a matter of respect. In baseball, though it’s a thing. Whatever Sabathia needs to motivate himself, fine, but after reading those words I rolled my eyes so hard that I injured myself. Calcaterra: 10-day disabled list (eyes).

Blue Jays 11, Orioles 8: Kendrys Morales hit three homers and drove in seven. He shouldn’t have disrespected the ball like that. Yet he did, hitting a two-run homer in the third, an RBI single in the fifth, a three-run shot in the sixth and a solo shot in the eighth. This after the Jays fell behind 3-0 and 5-2 early. Big night.

Twins 5, White Sox 4: Max Kepler was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and two outs in a tied game in the bottom of the ninth inning. That’s a walkoff plunk, babies. The plunk followed Eddie Rosario tying the game up at four with a ninth inning RBI single. It was the Twins’ first game-ending HBP since Paul Molitor was plunked in the 10th at the Metrodome in 1996 to beat Kansas City. So you have to assume he drew that play up between innings saying “This’ll work, fellas. Been waitin’ for a chance to unleash this one.”

Astros 5, Rangers 1Jose Altuve homered, Josh Reddick hit an RBI single and the Astros’ bullpen pitched four and a third scoreless innings as Houston salvages one in their series-in-exile. Now they return to Houston and their homes and families. And they get to meet their new friend, Justin Verlander.

Reds 7, Mets 2Scooter Gennett drove in three runs with a homer and a double. Joey Votto hit a homer, but that wasn’t his best play of the day:

The young fan is Walter Herbet. He’s six and he met Votto last week via the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Nice move, Joey. Get well, Walter.

Diamondbacks 8, Dodgers 1: Five straight losses for the Dodgers, who have apparently decided to get their annual skid in now instead of during the NLCS. Smart! Chris Iannetta and A.J. Pollock homered. Paul Goldschmidt doubled twice and drove in two. Gregor Blanco had three hits, two of them doubles, drove in a run and scored twice. Old friend Zack Greinke allowed one run over six innings. The Dbacks have won nine of 10.

Phillies 3, Marlins 2: Phillies starter Ben Lively allowed two runs over six innings and (all together now) helped his own cause by hitting a two-run single to give Philly a 3-1 lead which they’d not relinquish. Not a bad day. Know who did have a bad day? Giancarlo Stanton. He was 0-for-5, struck out twice, failed to get the ball out of the infield and flied out in the ninth with two men on base and the Marlins trailing by one. Still, by other measures, he had a better day than all of us.

Cubs 6, Braves 2: The Cubs win their fourth in a row as Kyle Hendricks allowed one earned run on five hits while striking out five and walking three in six and two-thirds. Jon Jay had four hits and Kris Bryant homered.

Brewers 6, Nationals 3: The Brewers keep pace. Jonathan Villar went 3-for-5 and homered and Zack Davies allowed two runs over seven to give him his 16th win on the year, tying him for the league lead with Greinke.

Cardinals 5, Giants 2: Michael Wacha allowed one run over six strong innings, Randal Grichuk homered and Tommy Pham drove in two via a single and a bases loaded HBP. The highlight — lowlight? — of the game, however, was a blown replay call which overturned a ninth inning homer from Brandon Crawford:

If a ball hits that green metal overhang in AT&T Park, it’s a homer. If it hits the foul pole, it’s a homer. If it lands in the stands, it’s a homer. On what planet was one of those three things NOT going to happen if the fan hadn’t grabbed it? The umps on the field got this one right. The replay officials overturned it, I suspect because they messed up the ground rules in San Francisco and incorrectly assumed that the green metal was a double. It probably didn’t cost the Giants the game — and at this point no game truly matter for the Giants — but that’s just poor.

And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Braves 9, Phillies 1; Braves 5, Phillies 2Ender Inciarte went 5-for-5 with four driven in in game one and 3-for-5 with a run driven in in the nightcap. His eight total hits in the two games was one short of the record for hits in a doubleheader. R.A. Dickey struck out nine over eight innings in the first game and Julio Teheran allowed one run and five hits, striking out eight in six and a third in the second game.

Indians 2, Yankees 1; Indians 9, Yankees 4: Trevor Bauer outdueled Jaime Garcia in the first game and a four-run first inning in game two set the pace for an Indians sweep. The sweep dropped the Yankees to five and a half games behind Boston heading into a four-game series against the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium starting tonight.

Brewers 6, Cardinals 5: With two outs in the top of the ninth inning, Brewers center fielder Keon Broxton robbed Randal Grichuk of what would have been a go-ahead two-run home run to end the game. Broxton was a defensive replacement in the eighth, by the way. Good call, Craig Counsel:

Orioles 8, Mariners 7:  t one point Baltimore was down 6-2, but they rallied back thanks to Welington Castillo‘s  4-for-4, three RBI day and Jonathan Schoop‘s go-ahead RBI single in the eighth. That’s seven in a row for the Orioles. Five straight losses for Seattle.

Tigers 6, Rockies 2: Justin Verlander struck out nine over six innings and drove in the Tigers first run with an RBI single. It was his first career RBI. On Tigers broadcasts, they often talk about how big a talker Verlander is about hitting, which is pretty hilarious because he is a poor hitter, even for an American League pitcher, going 4-for-43 in his career. I can only imagine that he was insufferable on the flight back to Detroit yesterday.

Nationals 4, Marlins 0: Stephen Strasburg tossed a complete game shutout on six hits and he hit a homer to give the Nats their first run and the only run they’d actually need. Strasburg has looked great since coming off the disabled list. The Nats have looked great of late too, winning four in a row.

Rangers 8, Astros 1: Texas rode a six-run fourth inning, capped by Mike Napoli‘s three-run homer. Andrew Cashner allowed one run on three hits over eight. The clubs have one more game in Tropicana Field before the Astros get to fly home to Houston for their series against the Mets and, more importantly, their reunion with families and friends who’ve been contending with Hurricane Harvey.

Red Sox 7, Blue Jays 1: Rick Porcello tossed one-run ball into the seventh and Mitch Moreland, who entered the game as a pinch hitter in the seventh inning, hit a two-run homer and drove in two more with a single in the eighth. The Red Sox sweep the Jays and look a lot better heading into their series with the Yankees than they did just a few short days ago.

Mets 2, Reds 0Rafael Montero pitched shutout ball into the ninth — it was a one-hitter as he entered the final inning, in fact — making two first inning runs by the Mets hold up. Montero ran out of gas in the final frame, allowing two base runners and then intentionally walking Joey Votto with one out to load things up, but A.J. Ramos put out the fire and preserved Montero’s win.

Cubs 17, Pirates 3Kyle Schwarber hit two home runs and Ian Happ and Anthony Rizzo each went deep as the Cubs romped. Chicago notched 20 hits — their most in three years — as they outscored the Pirates 27-5 in the three-game sweep.

Twins 11, White Sox 1: Jose Berrios pitched seven scoreless innings, striking out 11, including seven of the last nine batters he faced. Brian Dozier had four hits and Eddie Rosario homered twice to keep the surprising Twins humming along. They’re 19-10 in August and now they’re only a game back of the Yankees for the AL’s top Wild Card spot.

Rays 5, Royals 3Logan MorrisonSteven Souza Jr. and Adeiny Hechavarria all homered for the Rays. Morrison’s was his 33rd on the year. He has four home runs, eight RBI and six runs scored in the Rays’ last six games. The Royals finish August 10-18 and have lost six of their last seven.

Padres 5, Giants 0: Travis Wood started and didn’t allow any runs. He also homered. He didn’t get the win, though, as he tossed 97 pitches in four and a third innings before being yanked as the Giants mounted a rally. The rally amounted to nothing, though, as Craig Stammen and three other relievers continued to blank San Francisco the rest of the way. Jose Pirela also homered for San Diego. The Padres have beaten the Giants in nine of their last 12 meetings.

Diamondbacks 6, Dodgers 4: The Dodgers lose their fourth game in a row for the first time all season. The Diamondbacks extend their win streak to six. Adam Rosales, Paul Goldschmidt and Chris Herrmann all homered for Arizona, who built a 6-0 lead and then held on as the Dodgers late rally fell short. I suppose every good team goes through a bad stretch.

Angels 10, Athletics 8Mike Trout was slumping and then he sat out a couple of games with a stiff neck. He was back last night, though, and went 4-for-4 with a homer and scored four times. Albert Pujols hit two homers, tying him with Jim Thome on the all-time list at 612. He’s on pace for 25 homers and 100 RBI on the season, which are nice numbers, aesthetically speaking. That’s deceiving, as basically every one of his other stats are terrible, but I suppose it will look nice on the back of the baseball card.